Home Forums Ganymede & Titan Forum Doctor Who – Series 11

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    Ben Saunders

    Interesting to see news outlets that aren’t just The Sun (which has always ragged on Doctor Who, probably because it’s a relatively leftist show) running the “DW is hemorrhaging viewers” narrative, perhaps indicative of the general attitude towards the Chibnall era


    I only got round to watching it last night, as I’ve been in no real hurry to catch up. Almost wish I hadn’t bothered as it’s yet another ‘eh’ episode.

    It really felt like the pacing was all over the place, one minute we’re having quiet conversations, cut to action sequence of dalek causing havoc, cut back to a different emotional conversation. It just felt really disjointed and unsure what tone was being set. Then just to mix it up there’s a handful of comedy scenes being thrown in for no good reason. Oh the Doctor is panicking about this alien invasion and is desperately calling for backup? Of course that’s the perfect time to throw in a “aren’t call centres annoying” comedy bit!

    I’ve also got to the point where I stop worrying about all of the plot holes/conveniences now. The archaeologist guy -happens- to be an expert in this 9th century cult that just -happens- to be relevant to the plot, complete with illustrated guide on how to kill a dalek? Fine. Whatever. A dismembered dalek can be buried for over two thousand years, but with a little UV light teleport its bits back together again and live? Fine. Whatever. I’m willing to suspend disbelief, but things still need to have their own internal logic.

    I think another problem is that they try to make things seem grand and epic when they’re not. Having the Doctor looking at tardis monitors, running around shouting “oh no, it’s turning off the wifi, it’s shutting down the power!” is meant to sound epic, but all we’re seeing is her looking at monitors. It doesn’t -feel- threatening. Go back to season 1 and watch Eccleston stare in horror at one tin can trundling through a single building and you really -feel- the threat of a Dalek.

    As for the end, I couldn’t really care less about the Dad. We’re told all season he’s a bit of a loser and doesn’t even really say sorry to Ryan during their heart to heart. The only reason I didn’t want him to die was because that would give too much importance to a nothing character.

    If I could re-write the last few episodes, I would hold off on the Graham/Ryan moments and leave them for this one. Dalek jumps onto Graham, Graham is willing to sacrifice himself for the others, “I’ve had a good life” and all that, Ryan says “I love you Grandad”, Graham lives, everyone happy and sentimental. Job done.

    As for the ratings, yeah as a single number 5.15 million is low even for a normal episode, let alone a ‘special’, but everything on New Years Day was low. It was still the 4th highest show that day with the top only 0.5m more. It’s not really a case of the show “haemorrhaging viewers” but just that not many people watch TV on NYD. But let’s not let facts spoil a nice narrative eh?


    ”but everything on New Years Day was low. It was still the 4th highest show that day with the top only 0.5m more. It’s not really a case of the show “haemorrhaging viewers” but just that not many people watch TV on NYD. But let’s not let facts spoil a nice narrative eh?”

    Still shit numbers though, however much people might want to spin this as ‘no big deal’.

    And considering what the opener pulled just a few short months ago, there’s no excuse for that overnight, also i could care less what other shows are doing, saying ‘but *all* T.V is down these days’ just sounds like the sort of racing drivers excuses that were pulled during the latter half of the Moffat era when the numbers started falling.

    If it was compelling, interesting T.V that gave a reason for people to give a shit about it, people would’ve tuned in on the night, regardless of what external factors may have been at play.

    It didn’t, & they didn’t. Even on 28 day, 4 screen catch up, the show is nearly 5 million down from the opener to episode 9, so what else do you call that other than ”haemorrhaging viewers”?

    Again, it may make up for the shortfall on catch up, so this could all be a moot point anyway.

    Ben Saunders

    At the tail end of the Moffat era I know only a handful of people who still watched the show, but they at least enjoyed it. Now, those same people are with me when I say it’s shite, bar one. When I was in high school everybody loved or hated Doctor Who, now I’m the only person who ever mentions it. I don’t know about ratings, but it certainly feels like a show nobody watches anymore. I hope the ratings fall to two million and we get either a kick up the arse or a cancellation


    >the show is nearly 5 million down from the opener to episode 9, so what else do you call that other than ”haemorrhaging viewers”?

    Whittaker has a gap of 4.5 million from her opener to the lowest, not 5. Ecclestone had drop of 4 million, Tennant and Smith both lost 3.7 million in their first seasons. Ecclestone lost 2.8 million in the first week, Whittaker lost 1.9 in her first week. The only one that didn’t have a large gap is Capaldi, but far fewer watched his opener in the first place.

    So I’d say that losing millions of viewers is pretty much par for the course in a new Doctor’s season.

    It just bugs me that the media has been ripping on this season since the start, making out that losing viewers in the first week was a sign that a woman doctor and ‘sjw friendly’ companions was a disaster, rather than a totally normal pattern of viewing behaviour. There’s is always a large drop after the first week. They then carried on the story about it being a ‘ratings disaster’ even when it was getting better ratings than it has for a few years now.

    Rather than the hyperbole of a haemorrhage, I would say there has however been a steady decline in viewers. Other seasons have peaks and troughs according to how interesting the next episode looks. Tennant had a big jump in viewers for the first Cybermen story and again for the return of Rose in Donna’s finale. That’s been missing this season, there’s been no ‘wow I need to watch that’ episodes to get people back watching. It also doesn’t help that we’re a whole 3 episodes short of a full season.

    Going back to the NYD episode though, with catchup it might just reach 7 million, which will scrape about where Capaldi got with Xmas specials. So yeah, it is pretty shit and probably an indication of what’s to come. If they don’t change something and start writing actually good and enjoyable Who soon, they’ll be back into the ratings of Capaldi’s last season in no time, which were objectively awful.

    Pretty blobs on a chart – https://i.imgur.com/KAlsHjp.png

    Ben Saunders

    It depends what media you read, what narrative you get from it. The Sun has always hated Doctor Who, for example, but almost all the lefty outlets were spunking undue praise all over this series in the beginning, but do seem for the most part to me much more disparaging of the show now.

    I think trying to appeal to people who just don’t like Doctor Who is a waste of time. I’ve got a mate who just will not watch it. No matter if the Doctor is a woman, black, or a talking dog, they’ve already decided Doctor Who is shite and nothing will change that.

    It is a shame that the first female Doctor and the obviously deliberately multicultural TARDIS team has just so happened to coincide with the worst season of the show since Season 24. I wonder how much lasting damage something like that will do to people’s acceptance of women and minorities in this way. Of course there are people who will resist such a change anyway, but then for people on the fence or people who are indifferent, Series 11 is hardly a glowing review for this new, inclusive view of the future. It happened to Star Wars, too. They spent so long making sure they ticked all the representation boxes and no time on the scripts or making the stories exciting or anything. In a time when all the world was watching and they have a responsibility to deliver, they totally dropped the ball.


    >I think trying to appeal to people who just don’t like Doctor Who is a waste of time.

    RTD did that extremely well though. I was a mod on a consumer review site back then and most people who reviewed the DVDs were non-typical “girlie” fans who loved things like the kitchen sink drama and Britney/Weakest Link jokes among the adventure, and would usually say how they didn’t expect to like Doctor Who based on its reputation.

    Obviously Chibnall was hoping for the same thing, but couldn’t find a way to really hold the public interest beyond some worthwhile historicals that he didn’t even write.

    Pete Part Three

    RTD has his Producer hat on so much of the time. He was great at “marketing” the show, and reading The Writer’s Tale who realise how much thought he gave to scheduling (Waters of Mars going against The X Factor final!) and the desire to keep the TARDIS crew fresh every series (whether that be a change of Doctor or companion) so every premiere got a bit of a ratings bump due to viewer curiosity.

    Ben Kirkham

    I think RTD was the best showrunner of 21st Century Doctor Who. He knew how to attract and keep an audience, he kept the show very faithful to its past yet also made it accessible. He didn’t hit the bullseye 100% of the time, but I found it to be event television for the majority of his era. Plus, I really like him; I could listen to him talk all day. His other stuff outside Doctor Who is remarkable, particularly The Second Coming and Bob & Rose.


    I hated the weakest link/big brother episode in 2005, to the point that I stopped watching, annoyed. I just felt like it was a silly idea. But I just watched it and the Bad Wolf finale again. I quite liked them this time. Maybe the theme was ..it’s all about tv..this season was all about getting Who back on TV, so they were exploring the kind of trash tv they had to compete with (in that sci fi-less time). Or something.


    The Series 11 Bluray boxset arrived today.
    It’s very good. And looks fantastic.


    Shame the content is meh

    Ben Kirkham

    I don’t see any reason why Resolution couldn’t have been included, given the release date of the boxset.


    BBC money grab isn’t it! They’ll charge you another £15 for that episode in a couple of months time


    Might it end up as the first episode in an eventual Series 12 boxset?

    That’s how the Christmas specials were handled for the Tennant series on DVD – they all ended up as the first episode of the next season rather than the last episode of the current season. I think it happened later too – the first Smith series DVD set only featured the regular season 5 episodes and then ‘A Christmas Carol’ went on the start of series 6.


    I never liked or agreed with that ordering. All episodes from the same calendar year feel like they belong together, regardless of whether Christmas is actually closer to the next batch. Some of them even lead in directly with cliffhangers.

    (Apart from The Next Doctor, which belongs with the Specials year. And series 7 being messed up anyway. And that year when there was only a Christmas special, so put it with the next series. And Resolution being closer to its parent series than any other special but actually being in a different year just to mess it up. All the rest of the time).

    Ben Kirkham

    Back in the day, that was quite possible. Given the state of physical releases at the moment and the staggering lack of detail (Thanks for the Memories, the Doctor Who Season 10 box having no information as to what was on each disc), I doubt it’ll get included and since we’re waiting until 2020 for the next series it seems too long a gap. Same thing for Series 10. If BBC Worldwide waited until January 2019 to release it, it could have had Twice Upon A Time on it. My expectations for all releases now is a type of cautious anticipation. I think DVD/ Blu-Ray releases generally started to go really downhill about the time of Series 8.

    Ben Kirkham

    In the early 2000s I was excited to open up a DVD and delve in. Nowadays (with a few exceptions), it mainly feels like a duty for the sake of completeness.


    I mean, that makes sense in some respects.

    The Christmas Invasion is Tennant’s first episode and really a precursor to series 2.
    So for each Christmas episode to appear at the start of the series 2, 3, 4 makes sense.

    Then you get the 2010 specials … how were they released? As a set or individually?

    At series 5 I would have flipped it though, and put the Christmas episode at the end of the series boxset (although looking, there is a rather larger gap between series 5 ending in June and Christmas so maybe forgive them there)

    So it goes at the start of series 6

    but then because of that it starts to get a bit messy

    Series 7 has 2 Christmas episodes. The Doctor, The Widow and the Wardrobe (which was aired just shy of 3 months after the end of series 6) and then The Snowmen which comes in the middle because of the series being split.

    Originally there were released as Doctor Widow and Wardrobe, series 7 part 1, The Snowmen, Series 7 Part 2

    The Snowmen comes 3months after 7a and 3months before 7b.

    And this was of no surprise to the BBC, they knew the break in the series was happening and knew when it would be released so it was at this point they could have easily flipped it around and put the Christmas episode in with the series somewhere … presumably at the start of 7b as they’d wanted 7a out in time for Christmas DVD sales.

    No matter on we go.

    Series 8 ends 6 weeks before Christmas but that special gets pushed onto the series 9 DVD. Series 9 ended 20 days before Christmas.

    Again, pushing the series 8 DVD in time for Christmas missed the the Christmas special for that year … but at this point, Last Christmas fits in much more with series 8 than 9

    So the series 9 DVD has Last Christmas at the start and The Husbands of River Song at the End

    Finally starting to make a bit of sense I fell putting Husbands on the series 9 DVD

    Series 10 opens with Doctor Mysterio … that’s fine, it was the only episode the previous year. But guess what. The very final episode of Capaldi’s run, Twice Upon a Time is missing.

    And it is omitted from the series 11 DVD too. It’s released on it’s own.

    Now again, I get that scheduling is an odd one for some of these, whilst they would make sense to be attached to other series, the fact they come out on Christmas day means hold back on the series release until after Christmas or put it out separately or on the next series dvd

    At this point I’m not really sure of my point … other than from 5 on wards I feel that the Christmas specials belong at the end of the series, not the start … though I do realise not always possible

    However Ben is right, they could have put Resolution on the series 11 DVD. Especially as the DVD came out after Christmas. It really is the series ender and given we won’t have another series for at least 12 months … it just seems like a deliberate act to leave it off and put it out as a separate DVD as they have with other specials in recent years before it.

    That became a ridiculously and needlessly long post. Feel free to ignore it


    It’s mixed, but I find most of the Christmas specials work much better as epilogues wrapping up the year rather than distracting prologues before you can get into the year. I mainly can’t get behind Christmas Carol being 6×00 when it’s the honeymoon after the wedding or TDTWATW being 7×00 when it symbolises the end of my own honeymoon period with my the show since 2010, my enthusiasm gradually dialling down across 6B and finding a new level there.

    I can handle it. It’s not as bad as when the Narnia books are arranged in “chronological” rather than publishing order, that’s a hill to die on.

    Ben Saunders

    Two decent video essays on why Series 11 wasn’t very good – a short one and a much longer, more detailed one. One of the most telling things in the second video is when they describe the characters of the previous Doctors in brief, and question what defines each series and it’s Doctor. 2, 4, 9 and especially 11 are described extremely well and have a lot to latch onto, and the brief description of 12’s arc actually made me smile. Of course, it is cheating a bit to compare a Doctor’s entire run to their first series – except in the case of 9, who only got one series, and who still got a great deal of depth and character. It’s very funny and indicative of the issue when they point out that the Doctor said “I love conspiracies” and “I hate conspiracies” in the space of a couple of episode.

    The reason these videos stood out to me and merit sharing in my eyes is because I usually avoid videos like this, because after similar videos on The Force Awakens brought up some genuine points before quickly descending into misogyny and racism and “anti-SJW” stuff, I assumed these videos would do the same – thankfully, they do not.

    10 mins: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VCfoUVeFwZU
    20 mins: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HU2ftCitvyQ

    Nick R

    I don’t think that one of those two links is what you intended to post.


    I don’t think that one of those two links is what you intended to post.

    Doesn’t last 20 minutes, for a start.

    Stephen Abootman

    Kirk making love to a mountain would have been far more entertaining than most of Series 11

    Ben Saunders

    hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha oops

    not the worst thing i could have accidentally pasted into a comment

    this is what i meant to paste: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aysMP3z0NC4

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